“You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.”

Bob Hope, Comedian

Pros and Cons of Candles vs. Electricity

advantages and disadvantages of candles vs. electric lighting

Energy bills are rising almost every year and many people therefore think about finding alternatives to using conventional energy.

If you are one of those people, you might think about using candles instead of electricity.

If this is the case, stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of using candles vs. electricity in the following chapters.

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Advantages of Candles over Electricity

  1. Candles are considered to be cheaper than electric power
  2. You can store candles as long as you want
  3. Using candles can give you a feeling of going back to the roots
  4. Candles produce a romantic atmosphere
  5. You can use candles to deter mosquitoes
  6. You can rely on candles made out of natural materials
  7. Use of candles may slow down global warming
  8. Hedge against increasing energy bills
  9. You will be special in your circle of friends
  10. You can be a positive role model
  11. Using candles makes you more aware of how to save energy
  12. You will likely cut back your energy demand

Candles are considered to be cheaper than electric power

One advantage of using candles instead of electricity to light your home is that candles are usually cheaper, at least in most regions of our planet.

Of course, this also greatly depends on how many candles you will use and how well you place them strategically so that you can make use of the full lighting power.

Yet, overall, you can still save a lot of money on electricity by using candles and this will give you more financial freedom to spend money on other things you like.

You can store candles as long as you want

Candles also have an important storage function.

While you will be able to store as many candles as you want at home, you will not be able to store any energy unless you produce it yourself.

Consequently, in case of power outages, you will often sit in the dark if you solely rely on electricity from the power grid and having some candles at home can be great in case of emergency since you will be one of the few people who can still enjoy a nice cozy atmosphere while the majority of the general public will just sit in the dark and worry about what might happen.

Using candles can give you a feeling of going back to the roots

Since our ancestors have used candles for many thousands of years, using candles instead of conventional energy to lighten your home can also give you a great feeling of going back to the roots.

In fact, you can get a better feeling of how humans lived for the majority of the time on earth and can experience what it really means to live without electricity.

If you like, you can also just try using candles instead of electric power for a limited period of time to get this unique and special feeling so that you will appreciate your convenient life as you know it right now even more.

Candles produce a romantic atmosphere

Another upside to candles for lighting purposes is that you can create a really nice romantic atmosphere.

In fact, many people in our current state of the world feel like there is something missing in their daily lives.

Since our lives have become quite fast and we are overloaded with news and messages every day, it can be quite important to just unwind from all of this for a certain period of time and just enjoy a few moments with a nice candle on your porch while turning off all conventional energy at the same time.

You can use candles to deter mosquitoes

Candles are also great for deterring mosquitos from your garden.

Sure, this is not true for all candles. However, by using candles with certain fragrances, you can keep away mosquitos and other annoying insects from your home.

In turn, you will be able to enjoy your evenings outside your home in your garden much more since you don’t have to worry about those annoying companions and can rather relax together with your loved ones.

You can rely on candles made out of natural materials

Another benefit of candles is that you will have the choice to rely on natural materials.

While many candles contain elements that are relatively harmful to our environment, there are still some candle manufacturers that try to minimize this adverse impact as best as possible.

Hence, if you rely on those eco-friendly candles, you can do our environment a favor and you can also make your lifestyle more organic in general.

Use of candles may slow down global warming

Since you will no longer have to rely on conventional energies for lighting your rooms, you will also be able to save lots of greenhouse gas emissions in the long run.

In fact, if you use the right candles, you will barely emit any carbon at all.

Consequently, since carbon is considered a main driver for climate change and global warming, you can do our planet a great favor by just avoiding the use of conventional electricity and by going for candles instead.

Not only will nature thank you for that, but you can also get a cleaner conscience since you know that you do good for our environment and try to preserve a high quality of life for future generations.

Hedge against increasing energy bills

We all know that energy bills are increasing on a regular basis.

Since the production of conventional energy is pretty harmful to our planet, governments all around the world will start to increase the cost of carbon dioxide emissions over time and this also means that energy will become more expensive.

Thus, relying on candles instead of conventional energy can be a great way to hedge against rising energy prices and may save you lots of money in the long run.

You will be special in your circle of friends

Since almost every in our current state of the world relies on electricity, you will also be the one who will be special in your circle of friends in this regard.

Sure, not all of your friends will understand your decision of using candles and cutting back on electricity use.

However, in the long run, your friends will likely understand your decision and may even admire you for the effort you take to do good for our environment.

You can be a positive role model

Since your family and friends will see how much effort you put into this project, they will also ask themselves sooner or later whether they should join you in your mission to make the world a better place while saving money on electricity at the same time.

Hence, you can also be a quite good role model for your friends and even though your own contribution and impact may be rather small, you can be the one who really animates people to change their behavior towards an eco-friendlier lifestyle.

Using candles makes you more aware of how to save energy

Since you will actively see how your candles burn down and the related energy consumption, you will also be more likely to save energy in a more conscious manner.

For instance, while we use our electric lights almost all day long and don’t worry about it at all, you will be more likely to really turn off candles whenever you don’t urgently need them.

Consequently, your energy demand tends to be lower with candles compared to a state where you use electricity in a completely unconscious manner as many people out there do.

You will likely cut back your energy demand

Using candles for lighting purposes may not only be a short-term solution for you.

In fact, some people get really excited about this energy-saving model and will try to replace the use of conventional energy for lighting purposes with candles in a long-term manner.

Hence, if you are one of those people who really want to get serious about it, you may really be able to save lots of energy in the long run and may therefore not only be able to save significant amounts of money, but you can also contribute your part to a more livable future for the next generations.

As you can see, the use of candles instead of electric power can have many important advantages.

However, there are still some issues related to the use of candles that I want to discuss for you in the following so that you get a better impression of what relying on candles instead of conventional electricity really means for you.

Disadvantages of Using Candles instead of Electric Lighting

  1. Electricity is safer to use
  2. Electric power is almost always available
  3. Supply with electric energy is easier
  4. Smell of candles may be annoying
  5. You can produce your own electricity but not your own candles
  6. You can run into insurance problems by using candles
  7. Candles can only be used for lighting purposes
  8. Using candles can mess up your home
  9. Candles don’t have the same lighting power as electric lights
  10. Candles can be problematic if you have children at home
  11. Electric power is just more convenient than using candles
  12. Candles can release toxic fumes
  13. Using candles indoors can be risky
  14. You may forget candles when you fall asleep
  15. People may think you are crazy

Electricity is safer to use

One problem with candles is that they are not as safe as conventional electricity.

In fact, by using candles, you will have a much higher risk that your house will burn down.

Consequently, you may always feel insecure inside your own walls and this can greatly adversely affect your overall quality of life in general.

Electric power is almost always available

Candles may also not always be available.

While you could store candles inside your home, many people just don’t do that and you may just forget to buy enough candles and may run out of them.

In turn, without using electricity, you may no longer be able to light your rooms and this can be really annoying, especially when you come home from a stressful day at work and just don’t want to sit in a dark room.

Supply with electric energy is easier

Another downside to using candles instead of electricity is that you will also have to take more effort to supply yourself with candles.

Electricity is always readily available and you can turn it on and off whenever you want.

However, this is pretty different with candles.

You have to order candles on a regular basis and your favorite candles may be out of stock.

Hence, even though you could store candles in your basement, the supply of candles may not be as secure as you might think and using conventional energy will also be more convenient.

Smell of candles may be annoying

While some people like the smell of candles, others just don’t like it at all and if you are one of those people who really can’t stand the flavor that comes from candles, using candles instead of electric power will just not be a good choice for you.

You can produce your own electricity but not your own candles

Thanks to our modern technologies, it will also be pretty easy for you to produce your own electricity through the use of solar panels.

In fact, many people out there supply themselves with energy through those methods and have even become completely independent of the local electricity grid.

While you could also produce your own candles, it will still be much more difficult to do that on scale and relying on renewable power from solar panels may therefore just be a better, easier and also eco-friendlier choice in the long run.

You can run into insurance problems by using candles

Another disadvantage of using candles instead of electricity for lighting your home is that you may also run into insurance issues.

For instance, if you forget to blow out a candle and your home burns down, your insurance company will most likely not pay for the damage since it has been your fault.

It is also not socially accepted to use candles for lighting homes anymore and you will therefore have a hard time convincing insurance companies to pay in case there are any issues related to the use of candles inside your home.

Candles can only be used for lighting purposes

While candles are only suitable for lighting purposes, you can use electricity for a variety of different purposes.

For instance, you can not use candles for operating your dishwasher or your washing machine, you will have a hard time using candles for cooking purposes and so on.

I think you get the point. Apart from lighting, there are many other important functions electric energy carries out and candles can therefore just not be a valid substitute in this regard.

Using candles can mess up your home

Since candle wax will melt, you may also mess up your floor and your home in general if you don’t take precautionary measures to keep away wax from precious furniture.

With the use of electricity, you will not run into this issue since there will just not be any side products visible to your bare eyes and the power generating company will have to deal with these issues instead.

Candles don’t have the same lighting power as electric lights

Another issue with candles is that they simply don’t have the same lighting power compared to electric lights.

In fact, you will need a high number of candles just to get the lighting power of one electric light bulb.

Consequently, when we factor all that in, electric lights may become more economical compared to the use of candles.

Moreover, you would never get really strong lighting from candles and in case you want to have a really bright home, you will just have no choice other than to rely on electric energy.

Candles can be problematic if you have children at home

Due to safety reasons, it can also be quite problematic to use candles at home in case you have kids.

Children are usually not as aware of the risks of using candles as adults and this means that you will have to look after your kids more often if you want to use candles at home on a regular basis.

In turn, you will have less time for your work and for other important things you have to do and this can become really annoying and exhausting in the long run.

Additionally, you may also get a bad feeling when leaving your kids alone at home since you will never know if they are responsible enough to not do anything stupid with those candles.

Electric power is just more convenient than using candles

Electric power can also be preferred over candles in terms of convenience.

You just need to switch on lights and they will work instantly without any need to replace them anytime soon.

With candles, you will have to put in much more work since you will have to frequently get new ones and will also have to order them way ahead.

You will also not need a lighter for turning on electric lights and while you might run into serious issues in case you lose your lighter and rely on candles instead.

Candles can release toxic fumes

While some candles are made out of eco-friendly materials, they can still emit harmful or even toxic fumes.

Consequently, you may hurt your health in the long run and your risk of lung cancer and other unpleasant issues may increase quite a lot if you use candles on a regular basis.

Hence, it can also make sense to rely on electric light instead of candles from an overall health perspective.

Using candles indoors can be risky

While using candles outdoors will be rather unproblematic if you take appropriate safety measures, using them indoors will be much riskier since candles often emit harmful fumes and may also burn down quicker than you might think.

Consequently, if you leave your home and don’t blow out your candles, bad things may happen.

Moreover, you might always have a bad feeling in case you don’t remember whether you really haven’t blown out candles or not.

You may forget candles when you fall asleep

Many people also become quite tired at nighttime and may just fall asleep on their couches.

While this will usually not be an issue if you use conventional lighting, it can become a serious problem in case you use candles since those candles may just burn your home and you may even lose your life in the worst case.

People may think you are crazy

Since most people are so used to electric lighting, your family and friends may also think you are crazy if you tell them that you rather want to rely on candles instead.

Thus, make sure that you are willing to deal with snarky comments in this regard before you decide for relying on candles instead of electric lights.

Top 10 Candles vs. Electric Lights Pros & Cons – Summary List

Candles vs. Electricity ProsCandles vs. Electricity Cons
Use of candles may be cheaperCandles are not as safe as electric lights
You can store candles in your basementElectric lighting is more convenient
You have an emergency lighting sourceCandles may lead to insurance issues
Candles may be eco-friendlyPeople may think you are crazy
You can keep away mosquitoesYou can produce your own electricity
You can rely on organic candlesThere are renewable energy sources
You can be a good role modelCandles may release toxic fumes
Feeling of back to the rootsYour home may smell strange
More reasonable energy useRisky if you have kids at home
You may cut back your energy demandYou may forget to blow out candles

Should You Rely On Electricity Or Candles To Light Your Home?

While there are definitely some advantages of candles over electric lighting, you will still run into many problems and you should therefore never solely rely on candles.

Instead, you can just partly replace your energy consumption by using candles and by turning off electric lights from time to time to enjoy a nice cozy atmosphere but candles can never be a real substitute for electricity in our current state of the world.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candle

https://www.britannica.com/technology/candle

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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